A little lite commentary regarding Internet in Robinson Township. For those folks considering living here or for those who already have internet…my remarks are for you! When I first moved here we signed on with an ISP for about $50/month. Advertized download speeds around 1.5 Meg/sec. No data caps. Has to be LOS (Line of sight) to the ISP’s tower in Silver Water. Or to another tower near Sheshegwaning. In reality once subscribers lit up their Netflix and other high bandwidth intensive applications the speed dropped dramatically for everyone. Several times I called the ISP to inquire if they had any upgrades planned to address bottleneck bandwidth issues. The short story is after a year and a half I ditched them. Enter Xplornet….a well known ISP offering their services around most of Manitoulin Island. They have invested a lot of money in infrastructure (you can see one of their towers at Norm Fogals) and high speed backhaul data links. Xplornet’s technology uses LTE (The cell companies use this wireless broadband standard) for their wireless connections to subscriber’s homes. Speeds up to 50 Mbps and no data caps. We have 5 Mbps here ($65.00) and it’s enough to have a worry free Netflix connection. For me I will gladly pay the extra for a rock solid Internet connection with low latency. But you ask…what’s the catch? In a word… A tower! If you do not have LOS to the Xplornet site (They rent tower space on the Bell/Rogers cell tower just West of Silver Water) you need a tower. For some people down in the hollows this simply is not an option. (Sorry…I really do empathize with you) But for others a small 30 to 40 foot pole or tower may work fine. Nothing fancy. In my case the first tower was 16 feet high and it was just enough. So…if you want Internet bad enough…put up a tower. Remember the old days when people would put up 40 to 60 foot towers to get a decent TV signal for their entertainment? It’s not a stretch to compare putting up a tower to get Internet!

Tim Mackinlay...retired CNC machinist and computer network engineer.